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Redbanks, South Australia, Australia
Contact me if you'd like to know more about this writing group. My email address is jeebers@aussiebb.com.au

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds

Ananka - one of our Pharaoh Hounds
Ananka knows how to enjoy life - catch and eat birdies!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stewing – Good for Fruit, Bad for People

Some people worry and stew over issues, and never focus on getting to the main cause of their problems. Stewing is great for fruit, but it is bad for people. If a person is stewing over an issue, they tend to go over and over it, never going toward a solution.

Another way of dealing with problems, a method that has been found to be effective in a huge range of situations, is to actually write your thoughts down. Journal writing has been going on for centuries.

Journal writing is not just keeping a diary. People from many different cultures have written in journals for many different reasons, including personal reflection, record keeping, scientific observation, cultural analysis, and travel documentation. These journals are an amazing record people’s lives from the past.

So if you begin keeping a journal, you can be creating a resource for the future, both for yourself and for those who come after you. A journal is different from a diary in a few vital ways. A journal can take up pages and pages, it is not limited to one page with the date and available space dictated. A journal is for whichever days you have the time to write, and you won’t have accusing blank pages if you can’t write anything for a while. Many attempts at keeping a diary are abandoned because of those empty pages that say you haven’t been doing what you should.

A journal though, is a place where you can write down thoughts as they occur to you, you can burrow deeply into your thoughts and you can travel far and wide with your thoughts. As you journey, you will make discoveries about yourself and others, and about your life. You might realise you are in the wrong relationship, you might re-discover the love you have for your partner.

It will be all written down for you, and for you alone, unless you want to share. It is important to put a date on your journal entry, so that in the future, when you go back and read what you have written, you can remember the circumstances you were facing when you made the entry. It can be empowering for you to go back and read, and realise you solved whatever the problem was with the knowledge you gained through your journal.

Many creative people have kept journals, including perhaps the most creative person ever Leonardo Da Vinci. He kept his journal as the place to try ideas out, to see them in two dimensions so that they could later become three dimensional. Where would the world be now if Leonardo hadn’t kept a journal? We would be a poorer place.

You may not have the mind power of Leonardo Da Vinci, but, with your journal, you can become a more thoughtful and more creative person. Your journal can be the first home for new poetry, you can try out new characters or story ideas in your journal. Some people plot out ideas for craft projects, which become an invaluable resource when starting new projects. You have a record of what did and didn’t work, so you don’t need to make the same mistakes again.

If you have personal problems you are worrying about, your journal can be where you try out ideas, rehearse conversations you might have. Your journal can be where you make a list of the worst thing that might happen, given the current situation. Sometimes, when your problem is written down in your journal, you might realise it isn’t as bad as you’d thought, and others have problems far worse than yours.

A journal doesn’t have to be ornate and fancy, but some people like the idea of having a very special book to be their journal, to emphasise the importance of the journal in their life. Some others keep it simple believing the words they write down are the most important thing. Both types of journal are correct – the journal is so personal to you, you cannot be wrong in the type of journal you want to write in. Lined pages, if you are not into drawing, make the writing and reading of your journal easier, but blank pages are ideal if you draw diagrams and word webs. Check out the stationery section of a store and find the journal you want.

Try to set aside a certain time for your journal writing, but don’t stress if you can’t write. And if you sit down with your journal there open in front of you, and then can’t think of anything to write, write that down. Then if you think you are wasting you time and you are stupid, write that to. Start a conversation with yourself, arguing whether you are or aren’t stupid. You might be surprised at where you end up going with that discussion. Just get in the habit of simply opening up your mind and writing down the words as they come. There is nothing lovelier than re-reading you words months or years later and realising the wonder and beauty of your words.

Keeping a journal is a promise you keep to yourself, that you think your own words are worthwhile and precious. That thought is a nurturing thought and your self-nurturing is vital in maintaining your idea of self-worth. You are special, your journal proves it, in your own words.

Give journal writing a place in your life. You deserve it.


Tarra Slovan said...

Stewing is good for meat too. I'm a vegan ,but still just saying that stewing is good for fruit is disingenous... at best.

Carolyn Cordon said...

I love a good meat stew - you are correct to some extent. The point I was trying to make though, is that it isn't a good thing for people to stew over what has happened to them - it doesn't solve anything.

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